Summer Update #3

Professional Results from Oarmaking at WoodenBoat School

I teach a lot during the course of the year. Over the years it has been a thrill to combine my boatbuilding and design training with my training as an educator. A big chunk of my teaching is at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, ME. This year saw me up there three times. The first two weeks were Computer Design and Family Week. This past week was Traditional & Modern Oarmaking.

The students made beautiful oars this week. 

The course begins with a thorough discussion of the design of oars, looking at examples of finished oars and ones in progress. We overview the process of making a good oar and begin parsing through the patterns.

Tracing the patterns on rough-sawn, air-dried Eastern White SPruce

Sleeping oars at the 4-sided, tapered phase after class on day 2.

Sleeping oars at the 4-sided, tapered phase after class on day 2.

The modern part of the course involved vacuum bagged, Carbon Fiber blades.

Every students gets their own pattern that meets meets their needs. Throughout the week students whittle down the 2x6 Spruce to something that looks like an oar. Ultimately, they come away with a great set of oars that have the features I have learned are important as a rower and professional oarmaker. More than that, I feel, they leave with an understanding of the process and some enhanced hand-tool skills, as well.

Lookout for next year's Workshops and Classes schedule to learn more about the offerings for 2017.

Summer Update #2

Build Your Own Echo Bay Dory Skiff

The families of WoodenBoat Schools Family Week Build Your own Echo Bay Dory Skiff

It was a very busy, but highly productive week before last at WoodenBoat during the School's biannual Family Week. Four families each build their very own Echo Bay Dory Skiff, a 12-foot sailing and rowing dinghy. The started with cutting out parts, making the parts, assembling the hull, building the interior and two boats are getting readied for paint at home, one in Belmont, Mass and the other in Kansas City. The two others are at the Chase Small Craft shop where they will be prepared for paint and rigged. 

Summer Update #1

A lot is in the works here at the shop and off site:

  • Just completed the first annual Biddeford Boatbuilding Festival where we built 6 Compass Skiffs in 2 days! See photo album here.
  • Before the Festival I taught the first what appears to be many Computer Design classes at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, ME.
  • Currently cutting 4 Echo Bay Dory Skiffs for Family Week teaching at WoodenBoat 
  • The new generation Goat Island Skiff kit is out. Yesterday we cut one and the next several days I am adding the timber kit to the plywood kit shown in the photo.
  • The mkII Calendar Islands Yawl (replaces Mk1) will be featured in WoodenBoat's Small Boats 2017 print addition which usually comes out at the end of the year. The latest kits for this model are in production. Two are being cut and shipped in August and inquires are starting to roll in!
  • Never hesitate to call -- 207-602-9587 -- or email but I may be a little longer in getting back to you as I am in high season and often away from my shop in the summer.

Some Articles on My Boats

Recently two came out, one in Small Boats Monthly and the other on the brand new, UK-based Barnacle Bill. Small Boats covered the Calendar Islands Yawl and Barnacle Bill had a piece by a customer in the UK who has built and avidly rows a Drake 17.

A Calendar Islands Yawl based in Duluth, MN

The orogonal Drake 17 rowed by me in one of the Small Reach Regattas

Sorry these may not show much unless you have a subscription. Believe it or not I don't read much boats stuff....but these are very well worth he money. Both rags will require good contact and readership. So far the writing is excellent!